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by Louise Wilson
05 April 2022
Poll: SNP on track for record council results in May

REUTERS / Alamy Stock Photo

Poll: SNP on track for record council results in May

The SNP are set to return a record number of councillors in May, according to a poll from Ballot Box Scotland.

The survey, conducted between 24 – 28 March, found 44 per cent of voters will give the SNP their first preference vote under the Single Transferable Vote (STV) system used to elect local government.

In addition, more than half of those asked (56 per cent) said they will rank the party as their first, second or third choice.

The STV system is a form of proportional representation where voters are asked to rank candidates by preference.

Each ward in Scotland returns either three or four councillors.

It is therefore difficult to predict local results using national figures and any polling should be treated with caution.

The poll, conducted by Survation, put support for Labour at 23 per cent for first preference votes, 18 per cent for the Conservatives, 6 per cent for the Lib Dems, 3 per cent for the Greens, and 1 per cent for Alba and independence candidates.

In the 2017 elections, the SNP received 32 per cent of all first preference votes.

Ballot Box Scotland founder, Allan Faulds, said: “If these findings are accurate, the SNP are on track to deliver an astonishing record result in May, and Labour would again become the second largest party at local government level, giving both parties reason to be cheerful.

“On the other hand, the Conservatives, Lib Dems, Greens and Independents would seem to be headed for worse results, and Alba’s support is pretty pitiable.

“That said, some of these figures are rather eyebrow raising when compared to other electoral evidence.”

Labour, the Lib Dems and the Greens look set to benefit most from second or third preferences, as 52, 31 and 37 per cent of respondents, accordingly, said they would put candidates in their top three.

The SNP and Conservatives are least like to benefit from transfer votes, which Faulds said could be a result of their constitutional positions “putting off voters in the middle”.

Almost a quarter (24 per cent) of voters said they would not give a second preference to any party and 45 per cent said they would not use their third preference vote.

Council elections take place on Thursday 5 May 2022, with results to be announced over 6 and 7 May.

All over 16s permanently resident in Scotland can vote, assuming they register by 18 April.

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